Table Saw vs. Miter Saw – Which Should You Buy?

Last modified on September 17, 2022
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Table Saw vs. Miter Saw – which should you buy? Buy them both if you have space. In the woodworking business, power saws have revolutionized the process of making massive projects in a short period of time. Today, table saws and miter saws stand out as two of the most popular power tools for small-scale DIY projects. Despite the fact that each uses a different method to cut wood, their applications overlap in many places. If you’re serious about improving your carpentry skills, you may want to invest in both of these tools.

To be sure, compare the miter saw vs. table saw in this article to see how they differ and what their advantages and disadvantages are.

Miter Saw vs. Table Saw

Before you start looking for the best table saws and miter saws, there are a few things to think about. The needs of a “large shop” are different from the needs of a personal hobbyist working in their small home shops or garage. While shopping for one consider the following aspects.

Miter Saws Are Better at Making Angled Cuts 

A miter saw makes cutting angles a breeze because the verb “miter” means to join two things at a 90° angle, like the corners of a picture frame. A miter saw’s head can be swiveled from side to side to cut any angle you need. Therefore, miter saws are an indispensable tool in the trim carpentry trade for cutting the intricate angles required to install trim and crown molding.

Angles are more difficult to cut with a table saw because the operator must hold the wood firm while feeding it through the turning blade at the precise angle.

Table Saws Can Cut Large Pieces of Wood

A table saw is a flat table with a spinning blade that allows the user to cut wood. It is the best way to cut large wood pieces, such as four by eight foot sheets of plywood. Making cuts with miter saw requires placing a piece of wood on the saw’s narrow base and manually lowering the rotating blade. 

Things to Consider when Shopping for A Table Saw or A Miter Saw

  • Do you work on small or large projects?  
  • How many square feet do you need to work with?
  • Is it necessary for you to have professional-grade tools?
  • Are you going to need to perform more advanced cuts?

If you work in a small shop, you don’t have room for a big table saw. In the case of professionals who need to move around their table saws, they won’t want to carry around a heavy and cumbersome machine for rip cuts. Their preference is for a solution that can be carried around easily (portable table saws) and provides appropriate power without taking up a lot of room. Larger table saws may be preferable for those who work in large spaces, particularly on shop floors where high-volume activities are performed.

The same holds true for miter saws as well. There is no need for a complicated or expensive piece of technology for the home carpenter who wants to make simple angle cuts.  For a carpenter who frequently needs to do compound cuts, his tastes are quite different. It is also important to consider the size of the blade in both cases. It’s easier to make longer cuts with larger blades on miter saws. Since the blades on smaller machines are also smaller, the overall system takes up less room. The most appropriate table saws & miter saws are those that are suitable for the size of your project as well as the size of your shop.

Using a Miter Saw vs Table Saw

The miter saw can do many things. It is ideal for cutting wooden materials, trimming a picture frame, or working on a project that involves woodwork. If you’re just starting out in carpentry, you should try using a miter saw first, because it’s much easier than working with a circular saw or router.

The miter saw makes it easier to get precise cuts without having to move the wood around. A table saw is better than a miter saw for long and big cuts because it allows you to make larger and longer cuts. Both are great for smaller cuts but a miter saw works best for longer cuts. When you need to cut down a piece of wood or metal, both machines have a great use.

Miter Saws Are Portable

Wheeled stands for some table saws allow the user to move them from one location to another; most table saws are considered stationary and are built into a cabinet, making them heavy and cumbersome to transport. Some of theme are hybrid table saws. The majority of miter saws weigh between 50 and 60 pounds, making them easy to carry around in a truck or car trunk. The miter saw can be attached to an immobile countertop if you want to use it for all of your woodworking operations in a workshop.

Table Saws Are Less Precise

For a more exact cut, use a miter saw, which has a fence on the back of it that holds the wood in place as you make your cut. Wood is always in motion on a table saw, and varying the pressure applied to the wood as it is pushed into the blade can result in somewhat jagged cuts on the board’s cut edge. The modest imprecision of table saw cuts normally doesn’t influence huge projects like building a storage shed, but it can affect trim installation. Using a miter saw ensures accurate cutting every time.

Table Saws Are More Versatile

A miter saw can’t make large cuts, but a table saw can make almost any cut a miter saw can make, but with a lower level of precision. A table saws are more versatile than miter saws, but to make complex cuts on a table saw you’ll need advanced carpentry knowledge and skill. Table saw accessories can simplify dado cuts, angled and beveled cuts, but beginners must understand that making these types of cuts can increase the risk of injury.

Table Saws Are More Expensive

It costs as little as $100 for an eight-inch miter saw, and as much as $1,900 for a sliding miter saw suitable for contractors. For a high-end table saw with a built-in cabinet, expect to pay upwards of $2,800. Miter saws start at $250 and table saws start at $450 for serious do-it-yourselfers.

Which Saw to Buy?

Choosing a table saw or miter saw for your shop is dependent on what you want to accomplish. If you are planning on building a new shop from the ground up, you should start with a miter saw. These versatile tools complete many of the most common cuts and can be used for a variety of projects.

If you have a collection of power tools already, the best tool for you will depend on where you plan to find the greatest benefit. If you’re serious about woodworking, you should get yourself a table saw. It provides a lot more flexibility in terms of projects than other woodworking tools and it’s much more portable. This means it can be used almost anywhere.

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